November 29, 2012


Here's an interesting Channel 4UK news video that pays tribute to the launch of James Bond and The Beatles in 1962, and offers a discussion with journalists about the cultural context of Britain's turning point. Must see! George Harrison lost today in 2001. See our post from yesterday with George and his 1964 Aston Martin DB5.

November 27, 2012


A very cool 1965 photo of George Harrison with his Aston Martin by Henry Grossman has become available through the Rock Paper Photo fine art gallery. A small selection of Grossman's 6000+ portfolio of Beatles images is on exhibit at the Mach Shau Gallery in London. Harrison's 1964 DB5 was recently sold at auction to a collector in Texas for over a half-million dollars. Baby, you can drive my car indeed!

November 26, 2012


Caterina Caselli had a career as an actress and singer in Italy in the 1960s before becoming a record producer and owner of her own company. Back in 1967, she was belting out pop tunes on the TV studio stage with a host of very energetic Go Go Dancers. Here she is hosting a tribute to The Beatles! Thanks to my fellow Agent J at the Jhalal Drut blog for putting this on my radar. 

November 25, 2012


Sean Lennon is well known for his artful blend of sensitive melodies and rocking collaborations with Cibo Matto, Ghost of the Saber Tooth Tiger, and Plastic Ono Band with mom, Yoko Ono. Last year Lennon channeled the 1960s vibe of Serge Gainsbourg with a cover of Comic Strip, which he promoted with a video in the style of William Klein's Mr. Freedom. Back in his home studio, Sean has been working on lesser-known film projects. A production of the Murakami Ryu novel, Coin Locker Babies, has been in development for many years and he composed the soundtrack for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead in 2009. The lo-fi Mr. Freedom vibe continued this year with the quirky, super-hero rom/com, Alter Egos.  Lennon composed the score and appears in the film as a super-villain named Electric Death. The soundtrack offers a cocktail of hip contemporary grooves and retro cool. Check out the making of the beautiful tune, My Hero, below. The new Alter Egos album is now available on CD and vinyl from his record company, Chimera Music, and as a digital download from iTunes and Amazon. The record will hit stores on January 15th. 

Check out our recent posts, including Neil Armstrong: One Last StepNew Beatles ReleasesInterview with Playboy Bunny Deana, and our series, For Your Shelf Only, where guests share stories about collecting and show us some of their treasures. Series links: Jon GilbertRaymond BensonJeremy DunsPeter LorenzDavid FosterRob MallowsRoger LangleyCraig ArthurFleming ShortMatt Sherman. Check out my books Counting Sheep and Mort Walker Conversations. Info about my re-mix and film for Yoko Ono at my website here.

November 23, 2012


The new Amazon editions of the original Ian Fleming 007 novels are currently on sale during their Black Friday events. During the sale, Spy Vibers can pick up 4 titles for the price of 3. The sale is listed in the Black Friday book deals and I gather that the sale price will appear during check-out. Individual titles are listed for around $7.00 each. See the novels here.

November 22, 2012


Spy Vibers have a chance to pick up the It Takes a Thief box set for only $44.99 from Amazon (there was a lightning sale this morning for $22 that I missed). More info at Amazon. Other 1960s spy sets are on sale, as well. A search by title will find various seasons of Mission Impossible and Wild Wild West for as low as $15. The Prisoner and Danger Man sets are also marked down to around $30. Look for deals on The Protectors, and the Spy Collection Megaset (only $19.95). Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol will have a lightning sale tonight at 8:20 (pacific). The fantastic BBC mini-series Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Blu-ray edition is currently around $21.00.

November 21, 2012


A 2012 take on the scuba girl-assasin from Deadlier Than the Male? The September issue of inStyle features a beautiful series of portraits by Horst Diekgerdes of some of the leading ladies from the 007 movies. The collection of images include actresses Berenice Marlohe (with spear gun below), Michelle Yoe, Maud Adams, Olga Kurylenko, Carey Lowell, Talisa Soto, Tanya Roberts, Britt Ekland, Jane Seymour, Teri Hatcher, and Caterina Murino. You can see many photo projects by the artist at his official website. Younger SpyVibers should be advised that the body of work does include some artful nudes. The Bond Women series can be seen at Fashion Scans Remastered here

November 20, 2012


Hoping to revamp your secret lair over the holidays? Design Within Reach is currently running a Herman Miller sale. Spy Vibe recommends designs by Charles and Ray Eames, Isamu Noguchi, and George Nelson. Sale ends December 10th. Details here.

November 18, 2012


TIME has posted a cool collection of movie clips on-line that offers the opening scene from every James Bond film ranked from the worst to the best. Check it out and re-visit those classic scenes. See if you agree with their listings. TIME website. Image from Digital Spy.

November 15, 2012


OVOW Productions in Toronto has received the green light from Apple Corps to launch the Beatles Live Project. The goal of the project is to invite people from around the world who saw the Beatles live in concert to share their fan recordings, movie footage, images, and stories. The materials will be compiled by a team of archivists to share with Apple and to create a documentary film, The Beatles Live. During the heyday of Beatlemania, the band played over 250 concerts in 116 cities and 18 countries. OVOW invites those lucky fans who saw the band perform live to be a part of history again. Visit the project website and The Beatles for more info and to share your materials. Further info at the Huffington Post. Image by Curt Gunther.

November 14, 2012


The UK auto dealer Evans Halshaw has created a stylish site to celebrate the history of James Bond cars. Viewers can scroll through an interactive menu listing the cars from each film. Each model is presented in its essential design plan and can be embedded or downloaded as wallpaper. You can check out the site at Bond License To Drive.

November 11, 2012


The International Spy Museum is currently hosting an exhibit called Exquisitely Evil: 50 Years of Bond Villains. Visitors are greeted in the lobby by the deadly Zao Jaguar from Die Another Day. The museum lists an interesting chronology of villains on the exhibit website, examining how the films reflected concerns of the times and spotlighting real spy artifacts from their collection. Like other features of the museum, the exhibit includes interactive games and challenges. One kiosk of note is a screening of interviews with former spies, who discuss some of their 007-like experiences in the field. You can pick up a Minox camera, Bond accessories, and other spy goodies at the gift shop. In celebration of the exhibit and the 50th anniversary of the Bond movies, Bond continuation author, Raymond Benson, will be on-hand to chat and sign books on Tuesday November 13th from 1-3pm. More info at the special event website

November 10, 2012


Diabolik 50th anniversary events: Born from the imaginations of two Italian sisters and immortalized in comics and Mario Bava's cult classic film, Diabolik once again hops into his Jaguar and races toward a new series on television. Sky Cinema is currently trying to develop a new program with input from Mario Gamboli, editor and director of the Diabolik books and author of the Diabiolik biography. The first 13 episodes (of 50) will premiere in 2014. The producers are attempting to stay true to the Diabolik tradition, while bringing the character into the modern world. 10% of the budget was spent developing costumes, a process that included using new technology to print three-dimensional prototypes. A trailer was filmed on location and using Red Epic. Sky is hoping for the high-budget look of the Batman and Iron Man films, so co-production efforts are being pursued in France, Germany, Canada, and the United States.

In other Diabolik news, the Astorina publishing house and Mario Gamboli are celebrating the 50th anniversary of Diaboilik with a special exhibit in Milan. From the Italian press release: The exhibition is organized through 22 displays - divided by subject - containing writings, tables, objects and memorabilia that allow you to investigate the world of Diabolik. For the first time on public display are numerous relics of great interest to fans of the comic: the original drawings of the first issues, first edition books, rare vintage gadgets, pages from scripts, and the typewriter owned by Angela Giussani. Of great importance is the multimedia part of the exhibition: some monitors show visitors period films, image galleries, the trailer of the movie "Diabolik" (1968/Mario Bava), and many more.

There are also three interactive stations to allow the public to "browse" electronically the first issue of Diabolik and query the database to research the preparation of episodes or names that appear in nearly 800 books published to date. Finally, a big screen projecting the documentary "The Sisters Diabolike", produced by Michael Bongiorno and dedicated to the fascinating life of Angela and Luciana Giussani. Special attention is then devoted to the Jaguar E-type coupe from '61, always a companion in the adventures of Diabolik. Throughout the period of the exhibition, in the Museum bookshop will be a space dedicated to gadgets and volumes relating to the King of Terror.

At the Milan leg of the exhibit will be shown the preview of the trailer (above) for the 13 episodes of the television series produced by Sky Cinema, currently in production. The exhibit will be at the National Museum of Science and Technology Leonardo da Vinci from November 10th to 21st. The exhibit has previously traveled through Milan and Naples this year to celebrate the 50th anniversary. Official Diabolik website here.


November 9, 2012


As many Spy Vibers know, this is the 50th anniversary of the first James Bond film (Dr. No) and the first Beatles record (Love Me Do), both of which amazingly made their debut on October 5th, 1962. The team at Abbey Road Studios did a meticulous remastering for a release in 2009 of the Beatles catalog in stereo and in mono. They then spent the last three years working on a special project to remaster and cut this material for the warm and lush experience of vinyl. All of the original British albums, plus Magical Mystery Tour and Past Masters collections of singles, will be released in stereo this Tuesday on record. See below for info about the double-decker mobile buses that will be selling Beatles items this Tuesday. Each record is available individually, as well as in a deluxe box set that includes a book. The mono records will be released in 2013. As a special celebration of these historic releases, a small number of high-end audiophile salons have been invited to hold listening parties to compare and experience the records on hand-built demonstration-quality British Hi-fi systems. These listening parties will start on November 19th at 7pm. 

Confirmed locations include:
  • San Francisco: 7 p.m., Monday, Nov. 19 – Audio Vision SF, 1603 Pine St., San Francisco, CA 94109.
  • Los Angeles: 5 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 20 – Ahead Stereo, 7428 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036.
  • Atlanta: 7 p.m., Monday, Nov. 26 – Audio Alternative, 895 Indian Trail Rd., Ste. 15, Lilburn, GA 30047.
  • Dallas: 6 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 27 - Audio Concepts, 11661 Preston Rd., Ste. 280, Dallas, TX 75230.
  • Austin: 7 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 28 - Whetstone Audio, 2401 East 6th St., #1001, Austin, TX 78702.
  • Chicago: 6 p.m., Monday, Dec. 3 - Pro Musica, 2236 North Clark St., Chicago, IL 60614.
  • Boston: 6 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 4 - Goodwin’s High End, 899 Main St., Waltham, MA 02451.
  • New York: 7 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 5 – In Living Stereo, 2 Great Jones St., New York, NY 10012.
  • Philadelphia: 7 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 6 – Community Audio, 8020 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19118.
  • Washington, DC: 6 p.m., Friday, Dec. 7 - IQ Home Entertainment, 10890 Fairfax Blvd., Fairfax, VA 22030.
  • More information from the Examiner here.

   In addition, special double-decker mobile buses will be selling the new Beatles records, box sets, CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays, and other items in two US cities this Tuesday. More info at the Examiner here.

The buses will stop in the following locations:
New York:
  • Midtown (9:30am – 11am): Seventh Avenue, between 49th Street and 50th Street
  • SoHo (12pm – 1:30pm): Broadway, between Prince Street and Spring Street
  • Wall Street (2:30pm – 4pm): Broadway, between Cortlandt Street and Liberty Street
Los Angeles:
  • Hollywood (9:30am – 11am): Capitol Records, 1750 North Vine Street (at the Capitol Records tower)
  • Santa Monica (12pm – 1:30pm): ICE at Santa Monica, 1324 5th Street at Arizona Avenue (seasonal ice skating rink)
  • Downtown (2:30pm – 4pm): L.A. Live, at Olympic Boulevard and South Figueroa Street
   Beatles fans may also be interested to learn that Brian Epstein will be the subject of a new graphic novel and two bio-pics. One of the films will reunite Sherlock director Paul Maguigan with star, Benedict Cumberbatch, who has been cast as Epstein.

Check out our recent posts, including Neil Armstrong: One Last StepNew Beatles ReleasesInterview with Playboy Bunny Deana, and our series, For Your Shelf Only, where guests share stories about collecting and show us some of their treasures. Series links: Jon GilbertRaymond BensonJeremy DunsPeter LorenzDavid FosterRob MallowsRoger LangleyCraig ArthurFleming ShortMatt Sherman. Check out my books Counting Sheep and Mort Walker Conversations

November 6, 2012


At the height of the spy boom in 1965,  the Rolling Stones' single, Satisfaction, became a number one hit in the world. On the threshold of major stardom, a tour of Ireland was filmed by a movie crew. The result was a cinema-verite Stones version of A Hard Days Night. Unreleased for 46 years, Charlie is My Darling is now available on DVD and Blu-ray. It's a great time capsule of the Brain Jones years. See the fans, the fashion, the lads backstage, and the band like you've never seen them before.

November 5, 2012


The fantastic UK distributor, Network, is currently offering a "Shadow State" sale on some great spy box sets. Included in the sale are programs like Callan, Danger Man, The Ipcress File, Philby, Burgess & Maclean, The Sandbaggers, The Quiller Memorandum, and Tightrope. DVDs are Pal format, so make sure that you have an all-region player or that your computer is set up properly. The Ipcress File is once again out of print in the US, though there is an Australian Blu-ray available that is multi-region. The Network edition of Ipcress offers interviews with Michael Caine and designer Ken Adam. DVDBeaver comparison here. More info at Network

November 3, 2012


Cool cat, Serge Gainsbourg, was the subject of an imaginative bio-pic in 2010. The feature chronicled the life of the French singer/composer/actor, from boyhood, through his pop-life with Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin in the 1960s, to his death in 1991. Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life is available streaming on Netflix.

From Music Box FilmsTaking the best from La Vie En Rose and Amelie renowned comic book artist Joann Sfar's Gainsbourg: A Heroic LIfe is a completely original take on one of France's greatest mavericks, the illustrious and infamous Jewish singer-songwriter, Serge Gainsbourg (Eric Elmosnino). Born Lucien Ginsburg to Russian-Jewish parents, Sfar follows him from his precocious childhood in Nazi-occupied Paris, to his beginnings as small time jazz musician and finally pop superstar. Along the way he romances many of the era's most beautiful women, including Juliette Greco (Anna Mouglalis), Brigitte Bardot (Laetitia Casta) and Jane Birkin (Lucy Gordon). Employing a witty surrealistic style and a soundtrack that includes many of the musician's greatest hits, Gainsbourg: A Heroic LIfe is a quintessential time capsule to 1960's Paris.